United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
WESTON HOUCK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the motion of Tibel Clark (the
"petitioner") for the Court to issue a corrected
judgment changing his name to "Tibal Clarke"
pursuant to Rule 36 of the Federal Rules of Criminal
Procedure (ECF No. 121). For the reasons set forth in this
Order, the petitioner's motion is denied.
April 25, 2001, the petitioner pleaded guilty to conspiracy
to distribute and possession with intent to distribute fifty
grams or more of cocaine base, commonly known as crack
cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a) and
846. On November 20, 2001, the Court sentenced the petitioner
to an imprisonment term of 262 months followed by five years
of supervised release. Because of two prior convictions
designating him a career offender, the petitioner received an
enhancement to his sentence. On December 10, 2002, the Fourth
Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the petitioner's
convictions and sentence. United States v. Clark, 52
F.App'x 594, 595 (4th Cir. 2002) (per curiam).
about April 25, 2016, the petitioner filed the present motion
pro se, requesting a corrected judgment changing the
petitioner's name to 'Tibal Clarke"
("Motion for Corrected Judgment"). (Mot. for
Corrected J. 1. ECF No. 121). The petitioner states that the
records of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (the
"BOP") reflect the incorrect spelling of his name,
which appears in the Court's Judgment (ECF No. 35).
(Id.). He further states that the BOP has refused
his requests to correct the spelling of his name in BOP
records because the BOP must use the spelling contained in
the Court's Judgment. (Id.).
25, 2016, the United States filed a response in opposition to
the petitioner's motion (ECF No, 125). The United States
argues that the Court is without jurisdiction to consider the
matter because "no case or controversy is currently
pending before the Court." (Gov't's Resp. to
Req. for Corrected J. 1, ECF No. 125). The United States
contends that the petitioner is an illegal alien from Jamaica
who has been arrested under multiple assumed names.
(Id.). In 1990, the petitioner was arrested under
the alias "Junior Scott". (See
id.). In the present case, he was arrested under the
alias "Felix Johnson". (See id.).
Following his arrest, the petitioner's identity was
determined to be "Tibel Clark", and throughout the
present case, this spelling of his name was used. (See
id.), The United States avers that there is no
information, such as a Jamaican birth certificate, to support
the petitioner's current motion. (Id.).
about June 9, 2016, the petitioner filed his reply thereto
(ECF No. 126). On or about July 6, 2016, the petitioner filed
a supplement to the pending request for corrected judgment
(ECF No. 137), providing a "Birth Registration
Form" issued April 4, 2016 by the Registrar
General's Department of Jamaica (ECF No. 137-1). The Form
lists his name and surname as "Tibal Garrison". His
father's surname is listed as "Clarke", as is
of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that the
Court "may at any time correct a clerical error
in a judgment, order, or other part of the record, or correct
an error in the record arising from oversight or
omission." Fed. R. Crim. P. 36 (emphasis added).
"'Rule 36 applies only to clerical mistakes and
errors; it does not authorize substantive alteration of a
final judgment.'" Marmolejos v. United
States. 789 F.3d 66. 71 (2d Cir. 2015) (quoting
United States v. DeLeo. 644 F.2d 300, 301 (3d Cir.
1981)). The United States' assertion that the Court lacks
jurisdiction to consider the petitioner's motion is
incorrect. The plain language of Rule 36 clearly gives the
Court authority to correct a clerical error in a judgment
"at any time". Fed. R. Crim. P. 36. Courts have
made Rule 36 corrections to party names when such changes do
not result in substantive alteration of a final judgment. See
id, (affirming district court's correction of
defendant's name because such correction did not seek
reconsideration of conviction or sentence). Conversely,
courts have also declined to make name corrections even when
doing so would not result in substantive alteration. See
Gov't of V.I, v. Commission, 706 F.Supp. 1172,
1177 n.l (V.L 1989) (declining to correct spelling of
defendant's name, even though such correction was
permissible as it would have no effect on validity of
the Court has jurisdiction to entertain the petitioner's
motion, the permissive language of Rule 36 indicates that the
decision to correct a clerical error in a judgment is
discretionary. See Fed R. Crim. P. 36. Because the alleged
misspelling of the petitioner's name is not the
Court's clerical error, the Court declines to grant the
foregoing reasons, the petitioner's Motion for Corrected
Judgment (ECF No. 121) is denied.